Virginia Tech has a lot of databases - over 700 at last count! Of these, we have several that are particularly relevant for education research. You can find a list of relevant education databases on our Education guide. Check out the videos and tips below to learn how to search these databases effectively. You'll also find information on how to find particular journals and how to use the search box on the library's homepage.
The search box on the top of the library homepage allows you to search for books, articles, and other materials in a tool called Discovery Search. While Discovery Search has some education resources, the Education guide is still the best place to search for education-related articles. However, Discovery Search is the only place to find all of the library's books and ebooks, as well as an easy place to find streaming video and other types of media. Check out the video below for more information about using this tool, and visit this guide for additional information.
Google Scholar can be a useful tool, but it has some limitations too. It's very broad in its scope, so even with a well-developed set of search terms, you are likely to get thousands or even millions of results. It also offers very few ways to limit your results, so you will likely have to look through many irrelevant items. When you do use Google Scholar, try to search using a well-developed search statement; you can usually copy and paste your search string from another database. One strength of Google Scholar is that it often provides links to freely-available research. You also can connect your Google Scholar instance to your VT Libraries access to gain even more access by using the browser extension LibKey Nomad. Learn more about it here.
When you're searching for information related to teaching and learning, a simple trick can enable you to search multiple EBSCOhost databases at once, thereby maximizing your time spent searching.
The simplest way to do this is to start at the database Education Research Complete. Just above the search box, click on "Choose Databases by Subject" (highlighted below).
From the list, choose the box next to "Education" and then click "OK."
Now, you'll search a collection of education-related databases at the same time, with any duplicates automatically filtered out of your search results.
Sometimes it's helpful just to search or look through one particular journal, and sometimes you want to know if VT subscribes to a journal you're interested in. You can search for an individual journal title via the library website. Scroll down to the Quicklinks and select Journals:
You'll have two options - the first, BrowZine, is designed to replicate the feeling of browsing in a journal, so it's more difficult to use that interface to search. Choose the second option instead and enter the title of the journal you're looking for in the search box:
You'll be able to see whether we have the journal and the dates of our coverage (circled below). You'll usually be able to search within that journal from the linked title (circled below):
Don't forget that if we don't have something, we can get you what you need through Interlibrary Loan.